Uganda Rural Electrification Program

In rural parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 600 million people lack access to electricity. This is a fundamental barrier to progress. In Uganda Ci-Dev is demonstrating how carbon revenue can improve the affordability of last-mile connections for rural households, increasing rates of electricity access.  

The rate of access in rural Uganda is remarkably low—just 11 percent. The Government is working to raise access levels to 26 percent by 2022, and has taken on the cost of grid connection for all rural households. However, even with government support, 20 percent of rural households are still unable to afford the required in-house wiring. 

The ready board—an electrical panel from which electricity is distributed that contains provisions for electrical outlets and lighting sockets—dispenses with the need for the standard meter and conventional in-house wiring, providing a lower cost option for low-income households.  

The sale of carbon credits to Ci-Dev will subsidize the cost of the ready boards for low-income households. Emission Reductions resulting from 470,000 on-grid connections implemented under Uganda’s Rural Electrification Strategy have generated carbon credits that Ci-Dev will purchase, creating the funding for the subsidy program. The project will help 82,250 low-income households and support educational activities such as customer mobilization campaigns and marketing.  

The program could serve as a replicable model for other national-scale rural electrification programs to ensure that low-income households can receive electrical connections.